European regulators have slapped a fine of 138 million euros (US$182 million) on Philips, Samsung and Infineon for fixing prices of microchips used in smartphones, BBC News reported.
The electronics giants “colluded” on pricing, contracts and capacity between 2003 and 2005, the European Commission said.
Renesas, a joint venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi, avoided a fine for revealing the existence of the cartel, the EC said.
Germany’s Infineon was fined 82.8 million euros, South Korea’s Samsung 35.1 million euros, and the Netherlands’ Philips 20.2 million euros.
Infineon and Philips rejected the accusations and said they would appeal. Samsung had yet to comment.
The three fined companies “discussed and exchanged sensitive commercial information on pricing, customers, contract negotiations, production capacity and their future market conduct”, said Joaquin Almunia, the EC’s vice president for competition.
Companies that “choose to collude, at the expense of both customers and end consumers, should expect sanctions”, Almunia was quoted as saying.
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